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Steve Cofield

'Bruce Leeroy' absence makes Garcia-Phan possible at TUF 12 Finale

Steve Cofield

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Michael Johnson and Jonathan Brookins will battle it out for the Season 12 "Ultimate Fighter" title this weekend in Las Vegas. Four more cast members made the cut but it's semifinalist Nam Phan who gets the toughest assignement.

Phan will face veteran UFC and WEC fighter Leonard Garcia.

Phan (16-7) is wise to drop down to featherweight. He's too small to make any sort of mark in the UFC's lightweight division.

Before for you shed a tear for the Vietnamese-American fighter, keep in mind he was a very experienced guy before he gained that slot on TUF 12.

Garcia (14-6-1, 4-3-1 WEC, 1-2 UFC) will be tough. He's a slugger with his back against the wall. The Texan is one of the Greg Jackson fighters that Dana White actually admires, but he's just 2-3-1 in his last six fights.

Garcia was originally set to face Tyler Toner but was mysteriously pulled from the bout a few weeks back. That must've been when the promotion found out that Alex "Bruce Leeroy" Cacares, Phan's original opponent, would be unavailable.

Phan won't be an easy fight for Garcia either. He's got seven losses but names like Michihiro Omigawa, Rob McCullough, Josh Thomson, Billy Evangelista and JZ Cavalcante highlight his resume.

Fellow semifinalist Kyle Watson will battle Sako Chivitchian. From the TUF 12 roster, only Phan's fight and the TUF 12 title bout are slated to appear on the Spike broadcast. MMAjunkie has the official card and televised bouts.

Stephan Bonnar vs. Igor Pokrajac
Jonathan Brookins vs. Michael Johnson
Kendall Grove vs. Demian Maia
Rick Story vs. Johny Hendricks
Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan

Rich Attonito vs. Dave Branch
Pablo Garza vs. Fredson Paixao
Will Campuzano vs. Nick Pace
Kyle Watson vs. Sako Chivitchian
Ian Loveland vs. Tyler Toner
Cody McKenzie vs. Aaron Wilkinson

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